Left Bank is delighted to be kicking off our 2023 programme of exhibitions with an unusual and powerful collection of hand made quilts produced during the lockdowns of 2020/21 by over 150 people across the country. This creative textile project called Threads Of Survival will be on display throughout January at Left Bank and there will be a number of quilts made in West Yorkshire within this collection.
Threads of Survival is organised by the national NHS campaign group 999 Call for the NHS and began in 2020, during the first year of national lockdowns.This creative textile project invited people from all walks of life, to share their stories and experiences of pandemic life and also to express their feelings about the NHS and having a health service for everyone.
The call was open to anyone to join in, and in the true tradition of community quilting, the exhibition features work from both professional artists, enthusiasts and first time quilters.
The organisers initially thought they would achieve one large national quilt... however, the idea inspired groups around the country to make their own quilt documenting this important historical moment within their own communities and now Threads of Survival has over 26 quilts and textile pieces made by groups from around the UK including East Anglia, West & South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Somerset, County Durham, Surrey, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
Chrissie Parker, one of the organisers who lives close by in Huddersfield is pleased that people in Leeds will now have a chance to both view the Threads of Survival collection and engage in a project to create a new quilt made in the heart of Hyde Park, LS6 at Left Bank.
She says: “We are really happy to be bringing the collection to Left Bank. Threads of Survival is a project about people and the true spirit of a public service NHS, looking after people regardless of their background or status. People have described the exhibition so far as a powerful and emotional experience and we can’t wait to see the reaction from visitors in Leeds.”
The exhibition comes directly from Cambridgeshire and has been on tour since October 2021 when it was part of the British Textile biannual at Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley.
Alongside the exhibition, we are hosting collaborative quilt-making workshops led by local textile artist Jan Doherty a current resident at Assembly House. Jan will help everyone wanting to get involved in creating the LS6 quilt to plan and create a textile piece in these practical workshops. We hope you will be inspired by the exhibited quilts, beautiful Left Bank and the reality of the world around us. Jan has a love of traditional quilt-making and their long and varied history. This is reflected within her artistic practice, where she explores themes that have grown out of the confines faced during lockdown and the local Leeds surroundings. We can't think of anyone better to lead this project!
Our community is hugely diverse and creative AND with lots to say on the topics that are important to us right now! You can get tickets to one of the workshops, just check out our EVENTS section or pop in to pick up a craft box with instructions and materials ready to create your unique patch for the LS6 quilt! The exhibition opens on 4th January at 6PM alongside our first workshop!